Highway expansion project under way

Published 8:32 pm Thursday, May 27, 2010

Highway 22 in Valley Grande is moving from two lanes to five.

Valley Grande Mayor Tom Lee said he is excited about the progress that will come from the road.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” said Lee. “And should make a huge economic impact.”

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Lee said the construction would be a big step in helping the traffic flow through Valley Grande.

“At last count, we have about 12,000 cars a day that travel down that road,” said Lee.

Local businesses are also excited about the new project, and some are even grateful for the work being done now.

“This will help us out tremendously,” said Brenda Hisel, whose husband owns the BP across from the work being done on the roads. “There is going to be so many people who are working that it will help us out with our food and drink business.”

Hisel said the station already caters to loggers by serving breakfast in the morning and expects business will pick up even more.

“When these guys come out early in the morning they may want something light to eat,” said Hisel. “They can come here to get it.”

Right now, work on the highway expansion has not started because the Alabama Department of Transportation is waiting on utility companies to work around the area.

“We don’t know when the (bidding will start),” said ADOT Public Information Specialist Rebecca Leigh White. “We are waiting on the utilizes to finish before we take the bids. Once that is done the contract will go to the government for approval. It is about a six to eight week process.”

According to Lee, Alagasco is in the process of relocating their lines in anticipation of the highway expansion.